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The PC world is quickly preparing for USB 3.0

News reports from Asia indicate PCs with USB 3.0 will be shipping to consumers before the end of 2009.

USB 3.0, with speeds 10 times faster than USB 2.0, will offer transfer speeds of up to 5 gigabits of data per second.  Manufacturers are expected to introduce a new generation of USB flash drives, external hard drives, and other devices that will make use of the significantly faster transfer speeds.

NEC Electronics is expected to lead the pack among companies adopting USB 3.0, with the company recently becoming the first to introduce a USB 3.0 controller.  The company began shipping host controller samples last month, and in September will begin manufacturing an expected one million units per month.

In 2007, Intel unveiled USB 3.0 during its Intel Developer Forum (IDF) conference, but was accused by AMD and NVIDIA of keeping the open host controller specifications a secret to create an unfair advantage against competitors.  Intel later released the open host controller specifications in November 2007, with companies expected about the increased speed of the technology.

There has been some talk about whether or not the PC industry will be ready for USB 3.0.  During the SuperSpeed USB Developers Conference, held two months ago in May, manufacturers outlined their aspirations to utilize the superior USB 3.0 -- devices also were shown to be faster than eSATA, which offers 3Gbits/s transfer speed.

NEC anticipates 140 million PCs will ship in 2011 utilizing USB 3.0, with that number expected to climb up to 340 million in 2012.  Microsoft Windows 7, which launches in October, will not support the standard at launch, but will add in support later.

Both home users and businesses will benefit by using the faster technology, with large-scale data backup becoming much faster thanks to the 5Gbit/s transfer speeds.  Expect external HDDs with increased storage capacity from Western Digital, Seagate, Iomega, and other companies specializing in storage.

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I wouldn't be too quick to jump on that bandwagon
By AntiM on 7/2/2009 10:03:57 AM , Rating: 0
The ports might be available soon, but what about devices that actually use the new technology? As with any new technology, there are bound to be issues and incompatibilities. I think I'll wait until at least 2012 before buying any USB 3.0 device.

By TheSpaniard on 7/2/2009 10:18:54 AM , Rating: 2
there are always problems with early adoption of technologies...

if esata was making a move on marketshare then I could see waiting. but these ports were designed with USB in mind

By TheSpaniard on 7/2/2009 10:19:39 AM , Rating: 2
USB 2.0 compatibility in mind*

By twhittet on 7/2/2009 11:37:24 AM , Rating: 2
Even if there aren't a bunch of USB 3.0 devices out yet, I would still at a minimum want a USB 3.0 mobo. My current system (AMD socket 939 X2-4600) is 4 1/2 years old, and I'd hate to have to wait 4 years before my next upgrade to get native USB support.

By RU482 on 7/2/2009 1:11:40 PM , Rating: 2
but what if the initial implementation of it is flawed?

I'm gonna give this some time on the market before i run out and pay extra for a motherboard or card that has it

By TomZ on 7/2/2009 1:49:45 PM , Rating: 2
I doubt the initial implementation of the hardware would be flawed. More likely, the initial software implementations will have problems. One of the design concepts behind USB was to have really simple hardware at the expense of higher software complexity.

"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." -- Michael Dell, after being asked what to do with Apple Computer in 1997
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